The Mountain Ahead

June 5, 2009
By Travers O&#39Leary BRONZE, Boyds, Maryland
Travers O&#39Leary BRONZE, Boyds, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The wind was blowing through my hair and there was sweat dripping down my long exasperated face. My legs were numb from all of the pain, and as if all of this were not enough, there was a stabbing pain on the right side of my abdomen. I didn’t care; I knew that I had to make it up that hill. Stride by stride I slowly reached the top; with each step I was one step closer to my goal. I kept my eyes focused on the stop sign at the top of the knoll, which would ultimately be my destination. I knew that failure was not an option; I knew that I wouldn’t let the hill or my weaknesses prevail; I had to be triumphant. As I came within one hundred yards of the stop sign, it was if I had pressed a button somewhere in my brain, which numbed all of my pain and allowed me to dash. I sprinted as fast as I could, swiftly shifting my weight from foot to foot, and as I passed that stop sign, I set my sights on the mountain ahead.

As I approached that long winding hill, I came to the realization that the hill was a metaphor for the challenges that life would bring. As I started my ascent, I recognized that the trek would symbolize my journey of overcoming a challenge. My fatigued body continually told me that I needed to stop, but I didn’t; not even for a second. My heart knew that if I rested, I was setting myself up for failure; I never fail. My exhausted feet pounded the dark pavement to which I had become so accustomed, and as I did this, my head rose, allowing my eyes to center directly on my goal, which represented the top, the sign. Once those windows to my soul became fixed on the sign, I knew that they would never falter; that they would never become distracted by the sound of birds in the distance or by the children’s shrieks of joy by the playground; no, I was wholly engrossed in my aspiration.

Aspirations are what make life livable. They are why we overcome challenges. They are what we set our sights to when times are bleak. In some ways, an obstacle is like an analysis; testing how far you are willing to run for a dream. A couple of years ago, when I was first learning how to snowboard, I was horrible; I couldn’t carve down the mountain like the slalom racers you see on the Olympics. I couldn’t hit a jump like Shaun White. And I certainly could not grind a rainbow rail. So in order to get better, my dad would take my brother and me snowboarding at the local mountain every weekend. My brother would execute a trick, and I would promptly follow. Through the falls, the scrapes, and the bruises I slowly and consistently improved my skills. Four years and many hours of training later, I was invited to the Snowboard Nationals to compete in boarder cross, proving through hard work and dedication that overcoming obstacles really will take you to your dreams.

As I was slowly running up that long meandering hill, I never walked. Although I wanted to stop and rest along that road, I didn’t. I knew that if I had stopped, I would not be making progress to my goal, and thus would be failing myself. In my heart I know that I will never quit my dreams, and that I will never give up on something that I believe in. I know that this is what I will bring to college and society as a whole. I know that if I have a dream, nothing is going to stop me from attaining that aspiration. I may slow down to a light jog, but I will never truly stop running for my desires.

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